Health care for the homeless: A partnership between a city and a school of nursing

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Although there is extant research on the homeless, less is available suggesting an innovative community partnership such as Project HOPE. This partnership provided baccalaureate nursing students with greater understanding of underserved populations and health care delivery systems, and encouraged their future work with marginalized populations upon graduation. Students collected descriptive information on the homeless population. Correlations were found among site placement: age, clothing and supplies given, wound care, referrals given, assessments, and season of the year. Student evaluations revealed paradigm shifts in attitudes and inspired advocacy toward this population. Through the descriptive information and qualitative comments, we gained insight on demographics, conditions observed, and interventions offered, which provided direction for quality improvement in curriculum design for the Community Health Nursing course, direction for future student groups working in shelters and with street outreach workers, and information useful to strengthening partnerships with local organizations working with the homeless population. © SLACK Incorporated.

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